Joni Salovaara (MMA record of 14 wins and 8 losses) of Espoon kehähait was the most prominent active pro MMA fighter at today’s Finnish BJJ federations national NO-GI championships.  Almost 200 medal hungry grapplers hit the mats today in Tampere, Finland seeking for highly sought after money prizes. Today was reserved for colored belt weight categories and Sunday will be the day of white belts and open weight categories.  Jarno Juutinen as at the event to capture the action.


Salovaara competed in combined brown and black belt -73.5kg category. He won his two first fights of the tournament by utilizing his excellent take down defence and solid posture eventually forcing both of his foes to tap to rear naked choke. In the third round Salovaara faced always dangerous finnish grappler Riku Hapulahti of Lahden Gentai.

Final match went full time and in the end Hapulahti was declared as winner by points. Salovaara is set to fight MMA in Cage 35 (13th of May, Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland) among such fighters as Finnish superstar Anton Kuivanen, undefeated Brazilian grappling expert Rafael Domingos, RNC sport club’s Aleksi “Leksa” Nurminen, always relentless Suvi Salmimies and the heavy-handed Hardknock Jussi Halonen.